Whether you are riding a private charter bus, a public commuter bus, or even a school bus, you have a right to expect reasonable care from the bus driver, the company that employs the driver, and whatever third parties are responsible for regular bus maintenance. If negligence by any of those entities leads to you getting hurt, you may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against them.
However, bus accident litigation can often be much more complicated than lawsuits for other types of auto accidents, which is why retaining a Federal Way bus accident lawyer can be so important. With guidance from a personal injury attorney who has dealt with similar claims before, you could have much better odds of securing fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
There are many ways in which reckless or careless driving by a bus driver could cause a passenger to get hurt. For example, if a bus driver starts moving away from a bus stop before passengers are fully abroad and seated, or if they have to brake suddenly while in motion because they were not paying attention to the traffic ahead of them, any injuries passengers suffer as a result would stem directly from the driver’s negligent behavior.
It can also be important to determine what exactly led to a bus accident, as it may impact who is directly to blame for the incident. For instance, a bus driver rear-ending another vehicle because they were texting while driving would be the fault of the bus driver, but a rear-end accident caused by a brake failure might be the fault of a mechanic or third-party company who negligently failed to provide appropriate upkeep on the bus.
In some cases, a bus accident may even be the fault of a completely unrelated third party, such as another driver who ran a red light and collided with a lawfully operated bus. A seasoned Federal Way bus accident attorney could examine the circumstances leading up to a prospective plaintiff’s injuries and help determine who the focus of any ensuing litigation should be.
Unfortunately, filing suit over injuries sustained in a public or school bus accident can be even more complex than negotiating with private carriers and their insurance companies. Assuming the government entity that owes and the operates the bus chooses to waive their sovereign immunity to civil litigation, anyone who wants to seek recovery for a public bus accident must first file a claim with the state or county Office of Risk Management, which can require a great deal of documentary information and has a lot of opportunities for small mistakes to completely derail a claim.
Once a bus accident victim files this claim, they cannot proceed with a civil lawsuit until 60 days have passed, during which the Office of Risk Management may attempt to settle the claim out of court. Representation from a bus crash lawyer in Federal Way is virtually essential to getting through every stage of this process efficiently.
Both public and private common carriers are obligated to transport passengers safely and securely, which means civil litigation may be possible if a bus driver or operating entity fails to live up to this responsibility. However, recovering comprehensively for injuries suffered in these kinds of incidents can be a uniquely difficult endeavor, especially if you try to pursue your case without professional legal guidance.
A qualified Federal Way bus accident lawyer could walk you through every step of your claim and work tirelessly to get you the recovery you deserve. Call today to schedule a consultation.